Bug 140684 - drop-down list "gutter position" is unsuitable UI
Summary: drop-down list "gutter position" is unsuitable UI
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Writer (show other bugs)
Version:
(earliest affected)
7.2.0.0.alpha0+
Hardware: x86-64 (AMD64) Windows (All)
: medium normal
Assignee: Not Assigned
URL:
Whiteboard:
Keywords: needsUXEval
Depends on:
Blocks: Gutter-Margins
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Reported: 2021-02-26 16:59 UTC by Regina Henschel
Modified: 2021-03-02 07:52 UTC (History)
3 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:


Attachments
document for testing gutter position (23.46 KB, application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.text)
2021-02-26 16:59 UTC, Regina Henschel
Details
Screenshot of tab "Page" in page style dialog (30.17 KB, image/png)
2021-03-01 14:14 UTC, Regina Henschel
Details

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Description Regina Henschel 2021-02-26 16:59:24 UTC
Created attachment 170088 [details]
document for testing gutter position

Open attached document. It is a document in portrait orientation with a single page in landscape. It has set gutter width of 15mm.

Go to page style "Landscape" and change the gutter position to "Top".  Notice that the page in landscape orientation correctly has the additional space from gutter at top. But the other pages have lost their gutter space.
Save and reload. Now all pages have the gutter area applied to the top edge.
Go to page style "Default Page Style" and set the gutter position back to "Left". All looks fine now. But save and reload. Now the page in landscape orientation has the additional gutter space at the left edge.

The behavior of the item "Top" is unpredictable for users and bug reports about it are inevitable.

Technical reason is, that "top" is in fact not a property of a page style but a document setting. It is not stored in a page style in styles.xml but in settings.xml.

My proposal is, to remove the drop-down list at all:
a) There are currently not plans to implement "Top" as page style property (request bug 140570).
b) Instead of introducing a separate item "Right" that users can use in RTL context (request 140568) and would require a drop-down list, it would be possible to automatically detect the "binding edge" from writing mode and page layout.
c) It would automatically solve bug 140561.

Instead of the drop-down list add a checkbox with label: "Apply gutter space to top of pages throughout the document." The part "throughout the document" makes it clear to the user, that this is not a setting for an individual page style but for the entire document.

The fact, that the change to "Top" is not immediately visible in the document, but needs a reload is a different issue, which needs a new bug report. This report is only about the UI of the dialog.
Comment 1 Heiko Tietze 2021-03-01 09:45:06 UTC
To my knowledge the term gutter is used for spacing between columns. If you talk about Format > Page Style > Page > Margins, then I get the same spacing on top after reloading the document. No changes to the left margin. So what UI control do you mean with gutter?
Comment 2 Regina Henschel 2021-03-01 14:14:29 UTC
Created attachment 170150 [details]
Screenshot of tab "Page" in page style dialog

The feature "Gutter" is new in LO 7.2. Please see attached screenshot, where to find it in the page style dialog.
Comment 3 Regina Henschel 2021-03-01 14:51:19 UTC
The feature was introduced with bug 91920. For more problems with this feature see the list linked under 'Blocks'.
Comment 4 Heiko Tietze 2021-03-01 14:53:10 UTC
Ah, this new feature! But still I cannot reproduce. The document is in portrait, changing the gutter to Top is kept after save/reload whether I change the format to landscape or not.
Comment 5 Regina Henschel 2021-03-01 15:10:37 UTC
(In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #4)
> Ah, this new feature! But still I cannot reproduce. The document is in
> portrait, changing the gutter to Top is kept after save/reload whether I
> change the format to landscape or not.

It is not about assigning a page style to the document, but about changing the page styles themselves.

Imagine a user, who wants to have the gutter on the left side of the portrait pages and on the top side of the landscape page. So when the paper sheets are arranged for binding (which includes turning the landscape page 90deg), then all gutter are on the left side of the sheet. (BTW, Acrobat Reader print dialog does the sheet rotation automatically, so that you can print without the need to print it in several steps.)

Now do the described steps again from point of such user. I think, the user will not understand, what happens there.
Comment 6 V Stuart Foote 2021-03-01 15:27:16 UTC
Conriming STR of OP. And, Regina's suggestion makes sense.


(In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #1)
> To my knowledge the term gutter is used for spacing between columns.
> ...

For page layouts of a bound document, 'gutter' is fine. But more descriptive naming, e.g. "inner margin" (when bound), "binding margin", or "gutter margin" helps.

The 'Gutter' labeling was adopted by MS [1][2], with command name/tip of "Set gutter margins".

Version: 7.2.0.0.alpha0+ (x64) / LibreOffice Community
Build ID: 385808a2dff7300ec0120fdd5e8acfad8f86e50d
CPU threads: 4; OS: Windows 10.0 Build 19042; UI render: Skia/Vulkan; VCL: win
Locale: en-US (en_US); UI: en-US
Calc: threaded


=-refs-=
[1] https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/set-gutter-margins-3f70f182-7420-4936-9efc-72dc5efd0b78

[2] http://wordfaqs.ssbarnhill.com/MirrorMargins.htm
Comment 7 Heiko Tietze 2021-03-01 16:28:04 UTC
(In reply to Regina Henschel from comment #0)
> Go to page style "Landscape" and change the gutter position to "Top". 

Got it. Would expect the gutter settings being attached to the page style Landscape only but it seems to be assigned to all page styles. That's bug 140570 and by implementing this the issue here should be solved.

(In reply to Regina Henschel from comment #0)
> My proposal is, to remove the drop-down list at all...

In this case we need a checkbox to enable/disable the (automatically placed) gutter. And as a global document setting it needs to go to File > Properties (perhaps set from Tools > Options for new documents). The only place I see here is Custom Properties. Doubt this will attract attention from many users. Or we reject the requirement to enable/disable the gutter and stick to tools > options for new documents. But I'd prefer to solve bug 140570.
Comment 8 Regina Henschel 2021-03-01 20:32:14 UTC
(In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #7)
> (In reply to Regina Henschel from comment #0)
> > My proposal is, to remove the drop-down list at all...
> 
> In this case we need a checkbox to enable/disable the (automatically placed)
> gutter.

To distinguish between 'loext:margin-gutter does not exist' and 'loext:margin-gutter="0"' would only be needed, if LibreOffice implemented inheritance for page styles. And that will not happen soon. The element <style:page-layout> does not even has a style:parent-name attribute for that in ODF. Therefore it is sufficient to set the value to zero, which is default when opening old documents or creating new once. There is no checkbox needed for enable/disable. 

 And as a global document setting it needs to go to File > Properties
> (perhaps set from Tools > Options for new documents). The only place I see
> here is Custom Properties.

Custom properties can be referenced in a field. That is not the case for "Gutter position". The way it is currently implemented is more a kind of compatibility option in Tools > Options. But there user will not look for it.

> Doubt this will attract attention from many users.

Yes, document properties is an unsuitable place.

Therefore I have suggested to use a checkbox in the page style dialog with a text, that emphasize the property is applied to _all_ page styles. In that place user will expect any setting for margins.

> Or we reject the requirement to enable/disable the gutter and stick
> to tools > options for new documents.

You will get this property, if you open a docx, which uses it. So "for new documents" will not work.

> But I'd prefer to solve bug 140570.

I too, therefore the issue. But that will likely not happen in the next years. The people who had paid for the feature, would not like to get ODF documents, which cannot be exported lossless to docx. Docx allows "Top" only as document setting. And do you see any other than paid developers who will implement it?

But I see the need to clearly communicate to the user at this stage already in the page style dialog what is possible and what is not.
Comment 9 Heiko Tietze 2021-03-02 07:52:37 UTC
Mike, any idea how to show a document-wide property? Seems wrong to me having a apply-to-all checkbox in the individual page styles.